What I am about to tell you requires you to forget everything you know about McDonald’s. Forget about the often dry, overly processed burgers, forget about the sub-par ingredients used to make said burgers, and forget about the cheesy cafeteria-style look and feel of the place and presentation of the food. A new era of McDonalds is emerging and let me tell you, it’s going to blow your socks off! Recent reports have suggested that McDonalds is in the process of ditching its childish persona in favour of a more grown-up look and the most exciting step in this transformation is by far the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu which allows you to craft your own McDonalds burger from scratch. The results are nothing short of awesome and will make you think of McDonalds in a completely different light. I got the chance to sample the menu recently and was shocked at just how good it was. Here’s the scoop on this new ‘build-a-burger’ concept launching at a McDonalds near you soon!
I’ve never particularly liked McDonalds burgers, because what’s to like? Of course, when I was a student they filled a post-dancing void at 3am but I’ve never craved one of their burgers or thought they were the absolute business. For me, McDonalds is one of those places you go when you can’t be arsed to get out of your car and you just want something to make the hunger go away. I do love a good gourmet burger though – in fact, gourmet burger restaurant, Hudsons is on my list as one of my favourite places to eat out. I also love the idea of crafting my own burger from scratch, which is why Rocomamas is also one of my favourite burger spots ever. So, when I saw that McDonalds was launching a ‘build-a-burger’ concept in their restaurants I was curious to see what it would be like – dubious but curious. Rather surprisingly, I was blown away – the entire concept is pure genius and I can’t wait for it to come to South Africa!
Yes sadly, the McDonald’s ‘Create Your Taste’ menu hasn’t arrived in South Africa yet but word on the street is, it’s coming soon! I got the chance to try out the menu when I was visiting my brother in Christchurch, New Zealand recently but the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu has also recently launched throughout Australia and at 2000 locations in the USA. And, after huge success, rumour has it that McDonald’s will soon be rolling out the concept to the rest of the world. And, what a concept it is! If you’ve ever wondered why on earth McDonalds thinks they can call themselves a restaurant then the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu will change all that. In fact, they might as well not even call it McDonald’s because it’s that different from anything you’ve ever experienced from the fast food joint.
Customers create their burger masterpieces in just 6 quick steps using large touch screens which allow them to pick from a wide variety of toppings, buns, and sauces. The touch screen kiosks are slick and easy to use and allow you to pay via card or at the counter once your slip has been printed. Choose a ‘Create Your Taste’ meal and you will be given the choice to choose from a selection of drinks including milkshakes, floats, frozen soft drinks, coffees and more as well as a selection of sides including regular fries or Loaded Fries served with a generous dollop of guacamole. From here it’s time to create your own burger! The first step allows you to choose from 3 different bun options (including a toasted baker’s bun and a lettuce wrap), the second step between 5 different kinds of cheeses, the third between a variety of meats and other unique toppings (including fried eggs, streaky bacon, and fried mushrooms), the fifth between a wide variety of salad options, and the sixth and final step between nine different sauces.
I opted for the toasted brioche-style bun with a special Angus Beef patty, back bacon, cheddar cheese, Colby cheese, guacamole, grilled pineapple, lettuce, tomato. caramelised grilled onion, long sliced pickle, herb aioli, and Big Mac special sauce with a side of loaded fries and a frozen coke. But, as exciting as creating my burger on the touchscreen was I still wasn’t convinced that it would be anything special. Boy was I wrong! I was blown away from the very first bite – the ingredients were top quality and the burger tasted as good, if not better than most restaurant burgers I have ever had (scouts honour!) The way they serve the burger is also completely different. If you decide to eat in then your burger is served on a wooden board with fries in a small basket on the side whereas takeaway burgers get lovingly packed into a special flat box and then placed into a super classy looking brown ‘Create Your Taste’ bag.
I also loved that the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu has an entirely different team and section of the kitchen dedicated to crafting your burger. Your order doesn’t get thrown in with everyone else’s Big Mac or Junior chicken burger and even comes through to a fancy-pants ‘Create Your Taste’ counter for collection. The entire meal set me back $14 (NZ) whereas the burger on its own was $10.50 (NZ). Not bad when you consider that a Big Mac in New Zealand is $8 (NZ) and the quality of the ingredients used is more superior to that of normal McDonald’s fare. Options like artisan rolls and other items not typically found on McDonald’s burgers really does help to elevates the burger to a whole new level.
For more information on the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu click here. Or watch the video below.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.